Stop bullying in school

Tuesday October 30, 2012

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/10/30/focus/12243637&sec=focus
I AM shocked over the incident where a young student was killed due to the way he walked as reported in “Student killed in attack by gang of schoolboys” (The Star, Oct 25).

Any kind of school bullying is totally unacceptable as it will leave victims traumatised, sometimes well into their adulthood to the detriment of his/her emotional well-being. In this case, the victim died due to severe injuries.

Serious questions need to be asked. Is school bullying isolated incidents or are there many more unreported bullying cases, especially when the victims suffered injuries?

Normally, bullying starts with verbal abuse long before any physical violence takes place.

Bullying happens when the perpetrators are of superior physical strength with the ability to exercise significant control over the victim or victims and with a good chance of getting away with their actions.

This incident could have been prevented before it reached this stage where a life was lost. If only all the warning signs were heeded, like taking preemptive action against the bullies before it escalated to physical injuries, instead of brushing of such incidents as harmless.

There are elements of prejudice here since the reasons for this “murder” was due to the way the victim walked.

If students are taught that everyone must be respected no matter the difference in colour, race, gender, creed, social class, religion, physical appearance and sexual orientation, then such incidents of bullying people who are different from the norm would likely be reduced.

It is right that justice must be done with appropriate action taken against the bullies who caused the death in such a cruel manner as reported in “Mum calls for justice over death of bullied son”, (The Star, Oct 29).

While no stone must be left unturned by the police to bring the culprits involved in this dastardly act to justice, detailed studies must be conducted from any bullying tragedy to learn what has become of our school children.

The calls for justice where the perpetrators are convicted and punished is appropriate.

However, these juveniles need to be made to understand that what they did was wrong, including making them realise and repent.

It is time that the Education Ministry considers a campaign against bullying in schools once there is a detailed understanding on the appropriate ways of dealing with it in schools.

The root causes of bullying have to be determined before we find ways of dealing with such situations.

We have Teachers Day and Childrens Day as annual school events. Why not an Anti-bullying Day too?

Such campaigns would be more effective with messages that include aspects related to human rights, tolerance and mutual respect.

After all, the learning process in schools is more than just getting the maximum number of A’s.

A good Campaign Against Bullying has to be drawn up to nip the problem in the bud and make students respect others who are different.

Schools have to be a safe place with an appropriate learning environment where no one should be afraid since everyone is equal.

NG SHU TSUNG

Kuala Lumpur